Wasn't Obamacare Supposed to be Good for us?
A recent local newspaper headline, "Obamacare tweak valuable to big companies (ABQ Journal, 2/12/14), forced me to ask myself this question, "Wasn't it -- PPAHCA -- supposed to be good for us?"
The reporter indicated that the latest delayed implementation deadline (ObamaCare's fourth?!) will be helpful to companies of a certain size. If the law is good for us, why do they keep putting it off?
The explanation given by a Treasury official was truly surreal. He said it was "to ease the transition to a 30-hour [work] week." Really?! I thought ObamaCare was about our health and its care.
First, they cancelled the CLASS Act portion of PPAHCA, which was to assist "community living" for seniors and the disabled. If it was good for us, why cancel it? If it wasn't, why pass it in the first place?
Then there was the insurance support program for those with pre-existing medical conditions called PCIP. This was loudly touted as a major benefit we would receive from the law. If true, why discontinue enrollment when less than a third of eligible individuals had signed up? I thought it was supposed to be good for us.
Everyone expected PPAHCA to improve our access to healthcare. After all, those two words, the "H" and the "C," are part of ObamaCare's official title. So why did UnitedHealth, the largest provider of Medicare services, have to fire over 4000 doctors in response to PPAHCA? Why have over 70% of doctors in California say they won't take care of Obamacare-insured patients, because they cannot afford to?! I thought, we all thought, that the president's namesake reform would increase the availability of doctors' services, not turn them into a vanishing species.
But wait, there's more! Let's also remember that healthcare reform was started in the first place because of money: national overspending and individual medical costs that almost no one can afford. Then why does ObamaCare add $1.3 - 2.7 trillion in new spending? And why are our out-of-pocket costs going up, not down?
Finally, why is PPAHCA "good" for only certain people, while millions of other Americans including Congress itself, are exempt, granted waivers, or have "special circumstance?
I thought ObamaCare was supposed to be good for all of us! I guess I was misinformed.
Deane Waldman MD MBA ("Dr. Deane") is the Host of the free newsletter, The Hidden Enemy; author of The Cancer in Healthcare; a member of the Board of Directors of the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange; Adjunct Scholar for the Rio Grande Foundation; and Emeritus Professor of Pediatrics, Pathology, and Decision Science at University of New Mexico.